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Old 05-25-2014, 12:17 AM
 
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My husband recently got laid off from his job in Southern CA, and currently has a job offer that is in CA as well--a beautiful part of CA, but very expensive. We are sick of the crowds, commute, and taxes here, and although it will be tough for us two CA natives to leave the beautiful weather here, there's not much else keeping us here in terms of family and we have lots of friends in the northeast. We have often discussed moving back east to a lower-tax state, and have read a lot of good things about job growth in SC. We are also considering NC as well, with TN as another option. I have a few questions for those already in SC (or NC)--

Where are the bulk of manufacturing firms located in SC?

Is there any area of SC with a "cooler" climate? Based upon the altitudes of the major cities, I would think not, but is there at least of semblance of four seasons anywhere? Is there hope of cooler sea breezes by the ocean, or is it cooler inland? I really hate hot weather, but am resigned having to deal with it since my husband is determined to leave CA.

Traffic. How are morning and evening commute times into the major metro areas?

Finally, since good schools are not an issue, are there nice places to live that offer more adult-oriented cultural offerings and entertainment besides Charleston?

Thanks in advance for any help. I love the east coast in fall and spring, but am concerned about humidity and my ability to deal with it (I have a phobia about thunderstorms as well, but nothing that a good ear plug can't handle!) It seems that most areas of the country doing well economically in my husband's area of expertise are located in warm states. I refuse to go to TX or AZ, so SC and NC seem like all that is left.
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TarynB View Post
My husband recently got laid off from his job in Southern CA, and currently has a job offer that is in CA as well--a beautiful part of CA, but very expensive. We are sick of the crowds, commute, and taxes here, and although it will be tough for us two CA natives to leave the beautiful weather here, there's not much else keeping us here in terms of family and we have lots of friends in the northeast. We have often discussed moving back east to a lower-tax state, and have read a lot of good things about job growth in SC. We are also considering NC as well, with TN as another option. I have a few questions for those already in SC (or NC)--

Where are the bulk of manufacturing firms located in SC?

Is there any area of SC with a "cooler" climate? Based upon the altitudes of the major cities, I would think not, but is there at least of semblance of four seasons anywhere? Is there hope of cooler sea breezes by the ocean, or is it cooler inland? I really hate hot weather, but am resigned having to deal with it since my husband is determined to leave CA.

Traffic. How are morning and evening commute times into the major metro areas?

Finally, since good schools are not an issue, are there nice places to live that offer more adult-oriented cultural offerings and entertainment besides Charleston?

Thanks in advance for any help. I love the east coast in fall and spring, but am concerned about humidity and my ability to deal with it (I have a phobia about thunderstorms as well, but nothing that a good ear plug can't handle!) It seems that most areas of the country doing well economically in my husband's area of expertise are located in warm states. I refuse to go to TX or AZ, so SC and NC seem like all that is left.
Manufacturing is pretty widespread thoughout the state. I guess it dpeends on what type of manufacturing company he wants to work for. The Greenville area has a lot of automotive supplier type of manufacturing and BMW's only plant in America is here.

Greenville SC in the western part of the state is at a higher elevation (900 ft or so above sea level) and it tends to be a little cooler here, especially at night, in the summer. Greenville is only 45 minutes south of Asheville NC which is the metro in the Carolinas with the coolest temperatures. Asheville is pretty brutal in the winter though.

You get all 4 seasons anywhere in SC. It gets cold enough in the winter, I think. Charleston does get a good breeze off the ocean.

I think you will get used to the humidity. Unless you like to jog in the middle of the day or work outside, the humidty and heat isn't a big issue . Summer is only 3 months of the year.

Greenville and Columbia are the other two main metroes in SC. You can find something to do in both. Greenville's downtown has caught a lot of national attention in recent years and Columbia's is coming along.

Traffic isn't a major issue in Greenville or Columbia. It is more of a problem in Charleston due it being on a penisula and only a few bridges over the rivers.

I wouldn't say there is a lot of job growth in SC and manufacturing is the sector hardest hit by the economy the last 6 years. You'd probalby be rolling the dice to move here without a job lined up first.

Here is a good informational video about Greenville done by some Furman University students.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojp_IIMR_BE

Last edited by Kale7; 05-25-2014 at 12:44 AM..
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Kale7 View Post
Manufacturing is pretty widespread thoughout the state. I guess it dpeends on what type of manufacturing company he wants to work for. The Greenville area has a lot of automotive supplier type of manufacturing and BMW's only plant in America is here.
He's done aerospace, defense contracting and consumer products in accounting/finance/controller roles so he has lots of room for flexibility. I forgot about the BMW plant!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kale7 View Post
I think you will get used to the humidity. Unless you like to jog in the middle of the day or work outside, the humidty and heat isn't a big issue . Summer is only 3 months of the year.
That's a good reminder, Kale. Summer can be up to 7 months long in the part of CA I live in, and sometimes it seems to never cool down. I figure that is what air conditioning is for, and since I work at home, I don't need to deal with it that much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kale7 View Post
Greenville and Columbia are the other two main metroes in SC. You can find something to do in both. Greenville's downtown has caught a lot of national attention in recent years and Columbia's is coming along.
Yes, Greenville and Columbia both turn up a lot on "Best Places to Live" lists. I just picture Greenville as a big family-oriented place without a lot of history and cultural offerings compared to Charleston, but as I read more about the different areas of SC I see there is more to SC than Charleston and Hilton Head (actually honeymooned there!) Greenville certainly looks beautiful. What about York County, which looks quite close to Charlotte, NC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kale7 View Post
Traffic isn't a major issue in Greenville or Columbia. It is more of a problem in Charleston due it being on a penisula and only a few bridges over the rivers.
Angelenos always think their traffic is the worst, but a lot of areas (I remember in particular being stuck in on a road in Miami for hours) have grown quickly and their transportation hasn't caught up. I would imagine the same being true in SC.

Thanks!
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TarynB View Post
He's done aerospace, defense contracting and consumer products in accounting/finance/controller roles so he has lots of room for flexibility. I forgot about the BMW plant!



That's a good reminder, Kale. Summer can be up to 7 months long in the part of CA I live in, and sometimes it seems to never cool down. I figure that is what air conditioning is for, and since I work at home, I don't need to deal with it that much.



Yes, Greenville and Columbia both turn up a lot on "Best Places to Live" lists. I just picture Greenville as a big family-oriented place without a lot of history and cultural offerings compared to Charleston, but as I read more about the different areas of SC I see there is more to SC than Charleston and Hilton Head (actually honeymooned there!) Greenville certainly looks beautiful. What about York County, which looks quite close to Charlotte, NC?



Angelenos always think their traffic is the worst, but a lot of areas (I remember in particular being stuck in on a road in Miami for hours) have grown quickly and their transportation hasn't caught up. I would imagine the same being true in SC.

Thanks!
The only advantage to me to Charleston is it near the beach. It does have more history but you can cover the history stuff in one day. From a daily living standpoint there isn't any difference living in Charleston vs the other two. I've lived in all 3.

I know Greenville has a good arts scene and I'm sure Columbia does to. Columbia has the University of South Carolina right in downtown, and Greenville has Clemson University about 40 minutes west so you have the option of university based cultural events in addition to the city stuff. CLemson football games are a good time.
Live music is probalby the weakest "cultural" aspect of the SC cities. It isn't something I care about but I hear people say there isn't a great live music scene here. Greenville does get some big names from time to time at our arena or outdoor venue. I think the Black Keys came this year.


In my opinion Greenville's downtown is the nicest looking of the 3. More modern looking and the best aesthetics. There is always a ton of people downtown on weekends. The downtown has a massive suspension pediastrian bridge over a waterfall. It is pretty amazing.

York County is a decent area with Rock Hill and Fort Mill. They don't have as much as the big 3 in SC and not much to their downtowns.
They are basically bedroom communities for Charlotte. If you want to be near a big city but pay lower taxes, living in York County is a good idea. I personally think the SC big 3 are more interesting than Charlotte but Charlotte might be more what you are used to in Cali. It has more upscale shopping and some of the suburbs might have a more posh look than SC.

Last edited by Kale7; 05-25-2014 at 01:28 AM..
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Old 05-25-2014, 02:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Kale7 View Post
York County is a decent area with Rock Hill and Fort Mill. They don't have as much as the big 3 in SC and not much to their downtowns.
They are basically bedroom communities for Charlotte. If you want to be near a big city but pay lower taxes, living in York County is a good idea. I personally think the SC big 3 are more interesting than Charlotte but Charlotte might be more what you are used to in Cali. It has more upscale shopping and some of the suburbs might have a more posh look than SC.
Nope, I'm so over anything that reminds me of SoCal--I hate massive shopping malls and mission-style homes and calculating commutes by time rather than miles. I had to go to UCLA the other day, and it took me 40 minutes to go about 5 miles. Ugh! I am intrigued by the idea of living in SC yet working in the Charlotte area, which possibly has more employment opportunities. After looking at some photos of the different areas you mentioned, Greenville and Columbia look beautiful, and the homes are quite affordable. I have a friend in Goose Creek (which I didn't realize was near Charleston) and will have to see what she has to say about that area as well.

Are there teaching hospitals in SC? I know NC has Duke and UNC. Thanks again for all your feedback.
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Old 05-25-2014, 06:50 AM
 
Location: near downtown Greenville, SC (viewing the sunset vicariously at the North Gulf Shore Beach Access)
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A quick SC geography lesson - SC is divided into several regions (from NW to the coast): "Blue Ridge" - far NW SC, mountainous with little population; "Upstate" (or sometimes "Foothills") - encompassing Greenville/Spartanburg metro; "Midlands" (or sometimes "Sand Hills") - Columbia metro; "Pee Dee" (sometimes associated with the "Coastal Plain") - Florence area; "Lowlands" - Charleston/Hilton Head; and the "Grand Strand" - Myrtle Beach metro. Occasionally, the coastal areas are all lumped together. Natives of this state will sometimes talk about geographic regions rather than a specific city.

All three major metros (Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston) have state supported/sponsored MD medical schools attached to large hospitals - Spartanburg has a private DO medical school affiliated with Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. Health care in the major SC metros is excellent rivaling anything in NC (with the possible exception of Duke).

I will caution you about the temps/weather: summer anywhere in SC will be hot and humid (with the exception of far NW SC - although very few people live there). Summer temps generally start about June 1st and last thru early Sept (in the Upstate). As mentioned above, Asheville, NC will have the coolest temps in Southeast (for a major city) - however, Asheville has a significant lack of well-paying jobs, has very little manufacturing, and is tourism/retiree oriented.

As noted above, there are 4 seasons everywhere in SC. However, the Upstate has the most wintry weather - the city of Greenville averages 5 inches of snow/year - this year we rec'd over 7 inches. Again, there is a definite transition between seasons in all cities in SC - no place in SC is warm year round.

In the Upstate, major manufactures include BMW, Michelin, and GE. As you may be unaware, Michelin's North American HQ is in Greenville.

Please also be aware that SC, in general, is a very conservative state - esp in the more rural areas. With the influx of transplants over the last decade or two, a political shift seems to be occurring (ever so slightly); however, don't expect SC to go blue anytime in the near future. As an example, SC is one of the few remaining states that does not have a statewide ban on smoking in public places or texting while driving. Cities and municipalities have placed their own bans - the city of Greenville has a ban on both smoking and texting (the county does not).

Last edited by drfranklin; 05-25-2014 at 07:34 AM..
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:56 AM
 
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I'd be ok moving to a state that is slow to ban things. It is weird how Democrats think. I don't think smoking in public is a major concern as most people don't smoke these days. The bans on smoking in private restaurants were actually supported by social conservatives along with the liberals. I never understood what forces a person to go to a restaurant that allows smoking if they don't like being near smokers. Private restaurants are not public areas.

I don't think texting while driving has ever been seen as something that is ok by most people in SC. It is understood by responsbile drivers that texting while driving is dangerous. A ban on it isn't going to prevent the fools who do it from doing it though and the law will be difficult to enforce. It is just symbolism.

Last edited by Kale7; 05-25-2014 at 09:14 AM..
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:26 AM
 
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Nope, I'm so over anything that reminds me of SoCal--I hate massive shopping malls and mission-style homes and calculating commutes by time rather than miles. I had to go to UCLA the other day, and it took me 40 minutes to go about 5 miles. Ugh! I am intrigued by the idea of living in SC yet working in the Charlotte area, which possibly has more employment opportunities. After looking at some photos of the different areas you mentioned, Greenville and Columbia look beautiful, and the homes are quite affordable. I have a friend in Goose Creek (which I didn't realize was near Charleston) and will have to see what she has to say about that area as well.

Are there teaching hospitals in SC? I know NC has Duke and UNC. Thanks again for all your feedback.
Charlotte def. has more jobs but I think most of SC is probably stronger in manufacturing than the Charlotte area. Charlotte is more of a financial center. Mostly office jobs in the downtown area. Westinghouse is a good manufacturer located there.

Traffic in Charlotte metro is a beast though. Probably not as bad as Cali but the interstate is a parking lot in rush hour.
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
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I can't even stand walking through the pollution of a smoker anywhere near the entrance of a restaurant or other building. I take a deep breath before reaching their hazy cloud and don't breath until I get inside past the area where the smoke follows me just inside the door. I would resent being unable to go to a restaurant without having to breathe up those carcinogens.

If they have a law against texting while driving, then they can make believers out of enough people that eventually nearly everyone figures it's not worth taking the chance of getting fined, even if they don't care whether they or the other people they would be endangering live or die.
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:48 AM
 
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I can't even stand walking through the pollution of a smoker anywhere near the entrance of a restaurant or other building. I take a deep breath before reaching their hazy cloud and don't breath until I get inside past the area where the smoke follows me just inside the door. I would resent being unable to go to a restaurant without having to breathe up those carcinogens.

If they have a law against texting while driving, then they can make believers out of enough people that eventually nearly everyone figures it's not worth taking the chance of getting fined, even if they don't care whether they or the other people they would be endangering live or die.
Don't go to those restaurants then. If you and others don't go and they lose business, they would maybe change their smoking policy. If cigareetes are legal, I don't understand how the government can then ban them in private businesses. They don't mind the tax revenue smokers provide.

Yeah I'm sure the texters will just stop because they scared of a fine. lol How are cops going to know if somebody is texting or not while driving? The texter will just shut off the phone and toss it in back seat if pulled over if he has a brain at all.

Meanwhile alcohol is legal and nobody wants to ban it, and people support making weed legal too. Lot more deaths and injuries related to drugs than texting, I would expect. It is interesting what issues people decide to get worked up over.
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